Goldsmiths, University of London has explicitly included in its institutional-wide strategy a vision aligning with critical pedagogies and inclusive teaching. Liberate our Degrees is now the first strand in the Goldsmiths Learning and Teaching Assessment Strategy 2017-2021:
Liberate our Degrees
Goldsmiths has a rich heritage of challenging inequality in all its forms. Equality, inclusion and social justice are values which are very important to Goldsmiths. We work to ensure our pedagogical approach is inclusive and pioneering, engaging with our students to ensure our curriculum and delivery methodologies continue to evolve.
The aim to ‘liberate our degrees’ means to proactively challenge the white, middle- class, ablist, male-dominated curricula that are prevalent across the Higher Education sector, and to centre the work of marginalised scholars on race, sexuality, gender and disability within academia.
We will do this through:
− Ensuring student involvement at every level of decision making concerning their education; from curriculum and programme design, to pedagogical developments, to being on interview panels for new academic staff members;
− Committing to centring marginalised voices through inclusion in the curriculum, and actively working to improve Black and Minority Ethnic (BME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer / Questioning + (LGBTQ+), disabled and female staff representation within HE;
− Developing and extending collaborative and critical pedagogical approaches and accessible and relevant assessments;
− Delivering relevant learning and development opportunities to equip staff and student representatives with the skills and knowledge they need to support a diverse student and staff body (such as workshops for unconscious bias, mental health first aid and disability awareness training).
In this case study, Anamik Saha, who co-leads Goldsmiths’ MA Race, Media and Social Justice, speaks with Taylor McGraa, a former student and current Education Officer at Goldsmiths Students’ Union, about why a liberated degree is so important.
In 2017, Anamik won the Student Led Teaching Award for ‘Compelling or Diverse Curriculum Content’ for his work on the module Music as Communication and Creative Practice.
Successive Sabbatical Officers Sarah El-Alfy, Daniel Nasr, Tara Mariwany, Mollie Kneath, and Goldsmiths Students’ Union liberation groups were instrumental in making and keeping the act of liberating our degrees a core part of Goldsmiths’ LTAS.